On a hot summer day, grabbing your favorite sugary soda might be your default response to thirst. It seems relatively harmless; after all, it’s only liquid, and it’s cold and refreshing. But in reality, you’re feeding a dangerous cycle of dependency upon sugar, and you’re harming your body in the long run.

No one is saying you can’t enjoy an occasional treat. But if you consume soda on a regular basis, you might be interested to know what is happening inside your body when you drink it.

Right away… the phosphoric acid in the soda eats away at your tooth enamel, making you more prone to cavities and tooth decay. It also inhibits your body’s ability to absorb much-needed calcium from your diet. Over time, chronic soda consumption can lead to osteoporosis and dental problems.

Within 10 to 20 minutes… your blood sugar spikes, due to all the sugar in soda. The liquid treat passes quickly through your digestive system, but doesn’t help you feel full, so now you’ve consumed a lot of calories but you might still get hungry.

In about an hour… Your pancreas recognizes that your blood sugar has spiked too high, and releases a burst of insulin to control it. Pretty soon your blood sugar drops.

After an hour… That blood sugar crash leaves you feeling exhausted and maybe even a little grumpy. You might be craving sugar, or even feel tempted to grab yet another soda in an effort to feel better.

Meanwhile… Dumping a couple hundred calories’ worth of sugar into your bloodstream has resulted in one of two outcomes: You were either out jogging a few miles, in which case that energy was mostly used, or you were engaged in sedentary activity, in which case those calories were stored in fat cells. And since most people don’t chug a Coke right before exercise, the latter scenario is the more likely one.

As you can see, a regular soda habit can lead to a pretty poor dietary pattern. That’s why nutritionists will tell you that giving up soda is one of the best choices you can make for your health. Give it a shot for just two weeks, and you will probably notice that you feel much better! And if you can prevent costly long-term health problems from developing, your bank account balance might be healthier in the future as well.